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Oman Wealth Fund Offers to Buy Blue City Bonds at 65% Discount

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Onyx Investments Ltd., a unit of state-controlled Oman Investment Fund, offered to buy bonds of Blue City, a stalled real-estate project in the Persian Gulf country, at a discount of as much as 65 percent.

Onyx offered to buy all B notes from bondholders at 35 cents on the dollar for $143 million of outstanding bonds issued by Blue City, state-run Oman News Agency reported, citing a statement from Oman Investment Fund. The total value of Onyx’s offer to Class B bondholders will be $50 million, it said.

Blue City, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) west of Oman’s capital, Muscat, was to include more than 200 villas, four hotels and two golf courses. The project missed targets as real-estate investors left Middle Eastern markets amid the global financial crisis. A total of $925 million was raised from bondholders to finance construction, which started in 2006.

Onyx said in March last year it bought 100 percent of the Class A1 notes and 98.8 percent of Class A3 notes issued by Blue City from distressed debt funds company Essdar Investments Ltd. Fitch Ratings withdrew its ratings on the notes in July, citing “lack of adequate and updated information.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Shaji Mathew in Dubai at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Riad Hamade at rhamade@bloomberg.net

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